Spire Motorsports Fr8 208 Race Advance

The Fr8 208 will mark the first time Spire Motorsports will field a NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series (NCTS) entry at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS).

Spire Motorsports fields the Nos. 7, 71 and 77 Chevrolet Silverados full time in the NCTS. An all-star driver lineup will rotate throughout the 2024 season in the No. 7 Chevy. Rajah Caruth will drive the No. 71 entry and Chase Purdy rounds out the team’s fleet of Chevrolets in the No. 77.

The Fr8 208 from AMS will be televised live on FS1 Saturday, Feb. 24, beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The second of 23 NCTS races on the 2024 schedule will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

Kyle Busch – Driver, No. 7 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado

  • Kyle Busch will make his Spire Motorsports debut in Saturday’s Fr8 208 at AMS. It’ll mark the first time he has competed in the NCTS for a team other than his own since he established Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) in 2010. KBM collected a series’ record 100 wins, seven owner’s championships and two driver’s championships (Erik Jones 2015 and Christopher Bell 2017), before selling its assets to Spire at the end of the 2023 season.
  • The Las Vegas native will get behind the wheel of the No. 7 Chevrolet for four additional races in 2024; Las Vegas Motor Speedway (3/1), Bristol Motor Speedway (3/16), Texas Motor Speedway (4/12) and Darlington Raceway (5/10).
  • Group 1001 will serve as the primary sponsor on Busch’s Chevy this weekend and again next weekend at Las Vegas. Group 1001 is a collective that empowers companies to create positive growth. Our insurance and annuities are easy to understand and accessible to all. Our online investing platform gives individuals control over their savings. Our technology and innovation help companies succeed. And our strategic partnerships bring people together through education and sports. As of September 30, 2023, Group 1001 had combined assets under management of $59.8 billion. It comprises the following brands: Delaware Life, Gainbridge®, Clear Spring Health, Clear Spring Property and Casualty Group, Clear Spring Life and Annuity Company, and RVI Group.
  • With 64 career victories, Busch is the winningest driver in Truck Series history. He also leads the series all-time with an average finish of 6.4 and ranks second in laps led (7,787).
  • “Rowdy” has won 37.6 percent (64/170) of the Truck Series races he has entered going into the 2024 season and has finished first or second in 57.1 percent (97/170). Over his last 31 Truck Series starts he has posted an average finish of 3.1, while registering 16 wins and nine runner-up finishes during that span.
  • With his win at Las Vegas last March, he extended his series-best streak of winning at least one race to 11 consecutive NCTS seasons (2013-2023).
  • Busch has made 55 starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway across all three of NASCAR’s national touring series. In 28 races in NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) competition, the 38-year-old father of two has logged two wins, nine top-five and 13 top-10 finishes. His resume includes three NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) wins in 14 starts, 10 top fives and 11 top 10s. In 13 NCTS races at the iconic Hampton., Ga., venue, Busch has compiled six wins, nine top-five and 10 top-10 showings. He won at Atlanta in his most recent Truck Series outing, leading 102 of the 130 laps.
  • Busch will be pulling double duty this weekend, as he heads into his second season behind the wheel of the No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in the NCS.
  • The No. 7 Silverado, which competed in 11 NCTS events in 2023 will graduate to a full time-effort in 2024 with multiple drivers competing for an owner’s championship. Veteran crew chief Brian Pattie will lead the team. Details regarding the rest of the No. 7 team’s driver lineup are forthcoming.
  • Both of Spire’s NCTS wins have been registered by the No. 7 team. William Byron collected the organization’s first-ever Truck Series win at Martinsville Speedway in April of 2022 and Kyle Larson was victorious last May at North Wilkesboro Speedway.

Kyle Busch Quotes
Are you looking forward to racing in the Truck Series again in 2024?
“I’m thankful to Jeff (Dickerson), T.J. (Puchyr) and everyone at Spire Motorsports for the opportunity to compete in the five races that I’m allowed to do each season. A lot of the employees from KBM transitioned over to Spire, and I’ll be working with (Brian) Pattie and the same group that I had last year, so while it’ll be a little bittersweet not having a KBM decal on the front of the truck and a 51 on the side, I know that I’ll be getting in the best equipment in the series. Once I’m behind the wheel, it’ll look and feel like home and just like always, my only goal will be to add more banners in the shop.”

It’s been a couple of years since you’ve raced in the Truck Series at Atlanta.
“The racing will be a little bit different than the last time I raced a truck there in 2021, with it being repaved and reconfigured it’s now more of a superspeedway-type race. All of our trucks have been really fast at Atlanta the last couple years, with (Corey) Heim winning two years ago and last year we had two of our guys going for the win and all four trucks inside the top 10. All of Spire’s trucks were up front late with a chance for the win last week at Daytona, so I think that’s a good sign that we’ll all be fast again this week with a similar style of racing. It was cool to see Nick (Sanchez) get the win after coming so close a few times last year. The truck I’ll be driving at Atlanta this week is the same chassis that I won with last year at Las Vegas, so I know I’ll have a good piece underneath me and looking forward to building on the momentum Spire has coming out of Daytona.”

Rajah Caruth – Driver, No. 71 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado

  • Saturday’s Fr8 208 will mark Rajah Caruth’s second NCTS start at AMS. Last season, Caruth started 22nd and finished 25th at the controls of the No. 24 Chevrolet Silverado.
  • Caruth will pilot Spire Motorsports’ No. 71 HENDRICKCARS.COM Chevrolet Silverado this weekend at AMS as he pursues NCTS championship honors for the second consecutive season.
  • HENDRICKCARS.COM is the online home for everything Hendrick Automotive Group. Visitors can shop thousands of new or pre-owned vehicles, locate centers for service and collision repair, receive a value to sell or trade their car, chat online with customer service, discover career opportunities, learn more about vehicle protections programs, and explore how the company gives back to the community.
  • Caruth earned a career-best third-place finish in last Friday’s Fresh from Florida 250 at Daytona International Speedway. The 21-year-old Washington D.C. native started 20th, raced his way into the top five, and improved his previous career-best effort by three positions.
  • Listeners to the radio station Atlanta Hot 107.9 can hear Caruth discuss his Daytona effort and the upcoming season Friday at 10 a.m.
  • Caruth was named the 2021 Wendell Scott Trailblazer Award recipient in the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series, an award based on a driver’s final Weekly Series national standing and on-track performance, sportsmanship and community service.
  • Caruth, a senior at Winston Salem (N.C.) State, is paired with veteran crew chief Chad Walter this season. Walter and Caruth worked together in 2023 at GMS Racing, ultimately making the move to Spire Motorsports for 2024.

Rajah Caruth Quotes
You’re coming off a strong run at Daytona where you earned a career-best finish. Does that change your approach to Atlanta?
“Not at all. We’re preparing the same way, spending the same time with my guys, same time studying. Even before the Daytona race, I’ve always known there’s only so much I can control in a race, so overall I feel pretty good about Atlanta.”

What do you think it will take to be competitive at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend and potentially race for a win?
“Honestly, just being there at the end of the race. Atlanta is like Daytona with the drafting style of racing, where everyone has a shot. You have to be there at the end.”

You and Chad Walter have some history together and now you have one race in the books for 2024. How do you feel about your working relationship and where it can continue to grow?
“I’ve grown to become a part of Chad’s family. He has four kids and I really do see myself as his fifth kid. It’s great to grow this relationship and we both know what each other is thinking. He knows exactly how to keep me from getting in my own head. We had a great start to the year, and now we just need to do the same thing 22 more times.”

Chase Purdy – Driver, No.77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado

  • Chase Purdy will pilot Spire Motorsports’ No. 77 Bama Buggies Chevrolet Silverado in Saturday’s Fr8 208.
  • In three NCTS starts at AMS, Purdy has logged an 18.3 average start and a 15th-place average finish, including a venue-best seventh-place finish in 2023 – a net gain of seven spots from his previous best. He has completed 400 of the 402 laps contested over those three races, finishing 24th in 2021, 14th in 2022 and seventh in 2023.
  • The Fr8 208 will mark Purdy’s 77th career NCTS start and second at the controls of Spire Motorsports’ No. 77 entry.
  • Last weekend at Daytona International Speedway, the Meridian, Miss., native started 18th, raced inside the top 10 for much of the race, but ultimately came home 28th after being collected in a Lap 93, multi-truck incident.
  • Purdy’s crew chief Jason Trinchere has called six NXS races at AMS with drivers A.J. Allmendinger, Landon Cassil and Daniel Hemric. Over those six races, the Penn State graduate has led his drivers to four top-five and five top-10 finishes while completing 100 percent of the laps run over that span. Hemric finished second in both 2023 NXS races at AMS.

Chase Purdy Quotes
What does it take to run well at Atlanta Motor Speedway?
“The past two years it’s raced like superspeedway, very similar to Daytona and Talladega. To run well there, it takes about the same things it does at the superspeedways. Just keep your nose clean and be there at the end. We’ll be aggressive when it’s time to be aggressive and try not to put ourselves in a bad spot early. If we can be there at the end, I believe we’ll have a chance.”

With limited seat time on the new configuration, how do you prepare for this weekend?
“The good news is, we’re all in the same situation. Everyone is still learning. We had a chance to win it last year. We were in a really good position at the end of the race. We’ll go in with the same mindset, plan to be there at the end, and then make our move. Hopefully, it’ll work out for us.”

How do you rate your Daytona experience?
“I would rate my Daytona, honestly, kind of in the middle. It was really good at one point but also really bad at another. We caught damage early so that put us behind the eight ball, but we still did a really good job as a team to rally and be in position to try and win the race. We got to lead some laps and worked well with our teammates. We just had some unfortunate luck there at the end. I think our team did a great job rallying from the early damage to put ourselves in position to try and win.”

From the Top of the Box

Brian Pattie – Crew Chief, No. 7 Chevrolet Silverado

  • Brian Pattie comes to Spire Motorsports from Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM), where he earned two victories last year, both with team owner-driver Kyle Busch.
  • In addition to his three NCTS wins, Pattie was atop the pit box for six wins across 14 seasons in the NASCAR Cup Series and has 11 career victories as a crew chief in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
  • Pattie’s drivers have two wins at Daytona, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the July Cup Series race in 2017 and Joe Nemechek in the July NASCAR Xfinity Series event in 2002.

Chad Walter – Crew Chief, No. 71 Chevrolet Silverado

  • Chad Walter has over two decades of experience and began his career with Hendrick Motorsports in 1996.
  • He comes to Spire Motorsports with Caruth after spending last season in the same role with GMS Racing.
  • Some of his most notable accomplishments include a pair of Daytona 500 victories (2001 & 2003) with Michael Waltrip, along with Cup Series wins with Steve Park and Terry Labonte.

Jason Trinchere – Crew Chief, No. 77 Chevrolet Silverado

  • Jason Trinchere earned his Bachelor of Science from Penn State University and began his professional career in 2005 as the race engineer for the iconic No. 75 Spears Manufacturing NCTS team, owned by series’ pioneers Wayne and Connie Spears.
  • Notable accomplishments include Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 wins with both Ganassi Racing and Penske Racing. He was a key member of the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series Championship team with driver Joey Logano.
  • He comes to Spire Motorsports from Kaulig Racing where he began as an engineer before being promoted to crew chief in 2021, ultimately serving in that capacity for all three of the organization’s NXS teams.

About Spire Motorsports …
Spire Motorsports is a NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race team co-owned by long-time NASCAR industry executives Jeff Dickerson and Thaddeus “T.J.” Puchyr. In 2024, Spire Motorsports will campaign the Nos. 7, 71 and 77 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1s in the NASCAR Cup Series with drivers Corey LaJoie, Zane Smith and Carson Hocevar, respectively. The team will also field the Nos. 7, 71 and 77 Chevrolet Silverados full time in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series. An all-star driver lineup will rotate throughout the 2024 season in the No. 7 Chevy. Rajah Caruth will drive the No. 71 entry and Chase Purdy rounds out the team’s fleet of Chevrolets in the No. 77.

Spire Motorsports earned its inaugural NASCAR Cup Series victory in its first full season of competition when Justin Haley took the checkered flag in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 7, 2019. Less than three years later, William Byron drove Spire Motorsports’ No. 7 Chevrolet Silverado to its inaugural NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series win on April 7, 2022, at Martinsville Speedway. The team’s most recent win came on May 20, 2023, when Kyle Larson took the checkered flag in the Tyson 250 at North Wilkesboro Speedway.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

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